Fred Astaire in “Broadway Melody of 1940” (1940)
Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth photographed for You Were Never Lovelier, 1942.
Fred Astaire, c. 1985
I could only repeat what has been said and written about Fred Astaire’s perfectionism and enormous, one-of-a-kind artistry. What I can reflect on is the inspiration he afforded me personally, being privileged as I was to see him work his magic. Nobody could duplicate Mr. Astaire’s ability, but what I never stop trying to emulate is his total discipline, his absolute dedication to every aspect of his art. He rehearsed, rehearsed, and rehearsed some more, until he got it just the way he wanted it. It was Fred Astaire’s work ethic that few people ever discussed and even few could ever hope to equal. - Michael Jackson
Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance (1937)
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in a publicity photo for the film Roberta, 1935
Audrey Hepburn’s dream team
He is considered by many to be the most sublime popular singer and dancer of any generation. That he is still revered and remembered today is a testament to the idea that great art does not diminish nor lose its power to captivate each succeeding generation.
- Micheal Feinstein
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRED ASTAIRE! | (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987)
On the roof of Columbia studios. Rita jumps for joy at her newfound success: You’ll Never Get Rich was a box-office triumph. Time magazine called Rita “the best partner Astaire has ever had,” and Life magazine stated that Rita “made people almost forget Ginger Rogers.” Rita showed quite a flair for comedy, and Columbia executives were again pleasantly surprised at the versatility of their rising star. Plans were already under way to make another film with the Hayworth and Astaire team.